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Do Engineering Students Need an iPad?

Following advancements in technology, learning has become so much fun and more convenient. 

As you know, engineering studies involve a lot of research, note-taking, data analysis & interpretation, modeling, and simulation.

By investing in an iPad or laptop, you no longer need to carry dozens of pens, markers, and other stationery to engineering class.  

You can use your device to write notes, record lectures, research online, analyze data, and produce relevant reports. 

iPads also allow you to store, organize, access, and retrieve your notes and projects quickly and easily from anywhere. 

These developments bring us to the question at hand, do engineering students need an iPad? 

Let’s find out!

Do engineering students need an iPad?

Yes, engineering students need an iPad, although it is not a mandatory requirement. iPads are convenient, and they offer portability and versatility, thanks to their numerous valuable capabilities.

As you probably know, engineering studies involve a lot of note-taking, particularly during the initial courses. Students have to take notes, draw graphs and diagrams, and write mathematical formulas during class. 

An iPad will come in handy since it features several apps such as Notability, Noteshelf, and GoodNotes, tailored to perform the above tasks and help students visualize what they are learning. 

The device also comes with an Apple Pencil that learners use to write notes and draw diagrams quickly and conveniently.

Since engineering entails a lot of paperwork, iPads make an excellent choice for students who want to keep their documents in an organized manner. 

iPads allow you to store, access, and retrieve your papers from anywhere. You can also access your online docs conveniently as long as you have a stable internet connection.

As much as iPads are a good study aid and document carrier, they have a few limitations. Some engineering courses use specialized, resource-intensive software that an ordinary iPad cannot handle. These programs have high requirements not supported by iOS.

Due to the hardware and software limitations, you may not multitask efficiently on your iPad like you can on a computer. Read Do Engineering Students Need Laptops?

With all the benefits they have to offer, iPads make an excellent companion to your laptop or desktop. Both devices complement each other, and that is why it is a good idea for engineering students to invest in an iPad and a computer.

How can an iPad be useful?

An iPad can be helpful in the life of a student in so many ways. After all, it comes loaded with various essential tools and apps that enhance learning and improve productivity. 

Moreover, iPads are more affordable than laptops, yet they come with nearly all the features you will find in the latter.

That said, here’s how an iPad can be useful to students:


No matter your course or degree program, note-taking will be a big part of your studies. iPads come loaded with several apps such as Microsoft OneNote and Notability, tailored for taking notes on the device.

These apps are very easy to use, and they allow you to write, edit, and arrange your notes in an organized way.

Study Aid

iPads are fast proving to be the ideal study aid, thanks to their numerous useful features. Instead of carrying heavy textbooks to class, you can easily download the soft version of the book and read it on your iPad.

Ever since the emergence of iPads, physical notebooks, pens, and papers have become somewhat obsolete. 

Document Carrier

If you have an iPad, you no longer need to carry documents in flash drives, external hard disks, or other physical storage devices. iPads make an excellent document carrier, thanks to their vast storage capacity.

With quick access to the internet via Wi-Fi, you can retrieve your documents from your cloud storage using your iPad.


You do not have to worry about hauling large gadgets in your school backpack. iPads are highly portable, making them convenient and easy to carry around.

Besides, they are smaller than laptops and slightly larger than iPhones, making them the ideal study gadget of choice for many students.


Studying without taking a break can be detrimental to your health. Students need to take time off their studies to relax and unwind, and one way to enjoy your spare time is through entertainment.

You can entertain yourself by watching movies, playing games, or listening to audios using your iPad.

When should you buy one?

You should consider buying an iPad if you don’t have a laptop or any other similar device that you can use for note-taking. Engineering courses entail drawing diagrams and writing notes, and you need a device that can support you in your classwork.

You can also buy an iPad as a companion to your laptop to help increase your productivity. iPads have a great app that allows you to convert your iPad into a second monitor for enhanced efficiency when working on your projects and assignments.

As you know, laptops tend to be bulky and heavy, so carrying them to class every day can be a tedious task. In contrast, iPads are incredibly lightweight and smaller than laptops for enhanced portability.

Besides, they come with all the features you will find in a regular computer, making them the ideal companion for your everyday tasks.

Check Best YouTube Channels for Engineering Drawing.

When should you not buy one?

If you intend to use specialized, professional software in your engineering courses, consider buying a laptop instead of an iPad. 

iPads are somewhat limited and have compatibility issues with various apps. They cannot support heavy, resource-intensive applications. Besides, the screen size is small and not ideal for courses requiring intricate 3D graphical displays.

If your course entails heavy coding, data compilation, analysis, and debugging, an iPad won’t be an ideal fit for these tasks. You should consider an alternative such as a computer or tablet.

No doubt, iPads make excellent study aids and document carriers. However, they lack adequate storage capacity for large assemblies associated with engineering courses. For this reason, you are better of using a computer instead.

What can you buy instead of an iPad?

iPads can be expensive and out of reach for most students. Fortunately, they are not the only gadgets you can use for note-taking, drawing diagrams, and other classwork. You can buy a laptop or opt for a similar device like a tablet. 

Here are excellent iPad alternatives you can consider:

What is the best iPad for engineering?

Choosing the best iPad for engineering depends on the course you are taking. Some engineering programs require powerful devices to run multiple, heavy-duty software, while others are not too demanding. 

Whatever the case, the best iPad for engineering is undoubtedly the Apple iPad (10.2-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) Space Gray. This iPad has an expansive 10.2-inch retina display for true-life graphics. It features the A13 Bionic chip and offers 254 GB of storage space for all your large assemblies and project data.

You may also consider the Apple iPad Pro as an excellent alternative, thanks to its impressive features.

The iPad has a larger display and a more powerful chip. However, you have to dig deeper into your pockets to acquire this gadget.

Are iPads good for architecture students?

iPads may not be the ideal choice for architecture students since their software and hardware capabilities cannot support many architectural applications. 

The apps used in architecture or any design are typically resource-intensive and rely on graphic rendering software only available in high-end laptops and desktops.

iPads are limited in terms of both hardware and software. They can be beneficial for quick sketching and illustrations or when explaining a particular architectural design.

Read Asus Laptops For Architecture.

Which iPad should you buy for architecture?

iPads are not ideal for architecture. If you want an iPad for your architectural sketches and illustrations, consider the Apple iPad Pro.  

This iPad comes with an Apple Pencil for quick drawings, sketches, and illustrations. Besides, it supports various applications tailored for creatives such as ProCreate, TracePro, and Shapr3D.

Can you run CAD on a tablet?

Yes, it is possible to run CAD on a tablet, as long as it meets the minimum requirements to run this application. 

Following advancements in technology, CAD is now compatible with most mobile devices, including tablets. You can run the app on your iOS, Windows, or even Android gadgets without much fuss.

Which tablet is best for AutoCAD?

The best tablet for AutoCAD is undoubtedly Microsoft Surface Pro 7. This highly-advanced tablet by Microsoft boasts impressive features capable of handling the demanding nature of AutoCAD and other similar applications.

Does AutoCAD work on Samsung tablets?

Yes, you can install and use AutoCAD on your Samsung tablet. The latest Samsung tablets come with high-end features that can handle resource-intensive apps like AutoCAD.

An excellent example of a Samsung tablet that works very well with AutoCAD is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+.

Final thoughts

iPads are lightweight, portable, and make excellent study aids for engineering students. You can use them to take notes, record lectures, draw diagrams, and visualize whatever you are learning in class.

Besides, they come with nearly all the features you can find in conventional Windows or Mac computers. 

However, iPads are limited and cannot perform various functions or support resource-intensive engineering apps like a regular computer. For this reason, we recommend you buy an iPad to complement your laptop or desktop rather than replace it.